I have a deep affection for old-school detective shows. Recently, it appears that Hollywood shares my deep love (or a love of making money from people like me). A few weeks back, I mentioned Drive director Nicholas Winding Refn was in talks to helm a reboot of The Equalizer for Sony. Yesterday Deadline let us know that Universal Pictures is planning on bringing another elder sleuth to the big screen - Kojak.
The original Kojak ran on CBS from 1973-78. It stared Telly Savalas as a “bald police detective with a firey attitude” (IMDB’s words, not mine) battling crime in New York. Savalas played the character in several made-for-TV films post-78. In 2005, a new Kojak series debuted featuring Ving Rhames in the lead. It lasted all of nine episodes.
For the new film, Kojak will be played by none other than Vin Diesel. Perfect casting, right? Diesel, while not the most gifted actor, should have no trouble with the role. It helps that he and Savalas could pass for father and son. To go along with the perfect casting, Universal hired a perfect screenwriting team – Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, the duo behind Skyfall.
I have a good feeling about this film and The Equalizer. Hollywood, if these two end up being watchable, you have my permission to reboot Hunter and Sledge Hammer.